HomeUS News updateWinner of $1.35B Mega Millions jackpot comes forward

Winner of $1.35B Mega Millions jackpot comes forward

PORTLAND, Maine – The winner of the $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot – the fourth largest in US history – has come forward to collect the prize, state officials said Wednesday.

The winner of the January drawing was a mystery, and remains a mystery.

The Maine State Lottery said the winner opted to remain anonymous and collect the cash option through a limited liability company, Lacoma Island Investments LLC, rather than receive the full amount in payments over time.

“The winner is thoughtfully considering the best use of the life-changing prize,” a representative said in a statement.

Officials said that choosing the cash option, the winner would receive a one-time, one-time payment of $723,564,144 before taxes.

Lottery officials said the winner had the option of coming forward personally with the winning ticket or remaining anonymous through a trust.

The winning ticket was confirmed when a representative came to the lottery headquarters in Augusta on Friday, and a wire transfer of the money will happen before the end of the week, said Michael Boardman, deputy director of the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations.

“I understand why someone would want to remain anonymous with this kind of money. We wish them well and hope they do something good with it.

The winning ticket for the January 13 drawing was purchased at Lebanon’s Hometown Gas & Grill, which is located on a busy highway in a small town near the New Hampshire border.

Owner Fred Coutreau said he did not know who had the winning ticket.

“We’re going to wait and see if it’s local. Who knows? Sometimes they come to the store and say thank you, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it,” said Cotreau, who shared half of the store’s proceeds of $50,000 for selling the winning ticket with his employees.

Boardman said that if the winner had opted to accept the full amount, there would have been 30 payments over 29 years.

Boardman said that upon accepting the cash payment, the winner would receive more than $498 million after taxes. He said $173.6 million would go to the federal government and $51 million to the state. He said the limited liability company that would receive the money was incorporated outside the state.

In the Friday the 13th Friday draw, the winner carried odds of 1 in 302.6 million, no less. This was the first Maine winner of the Mega Millions jackpot, which is played in 45 states as well as the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands.



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